DOZENS of US troops have been battling traumatic brain injuries after an Iran launched a flurry of missile strikes on an Iraqi air base earlier this month, the Pentagon has confirmed.
President Donald Trump downplayed their injuries from the strike on January 8, insisting they were "trauma headaches".
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said 34 troops have been diagnosed, and 17 of them are still under medical observation.
Hoffman added 18 were initially evacuated from Iraq to U.S. medical facilities in Germany and Kuwait, while 16 stayed in Iraq.
And 17 of the 18 evacuees who were sent to Germany, nine remain there.
The other eight have been transported to the United States for continued observation or treatment.
No one was killed in the attack on Ain al-Asad.
It is not very seriousPresident Donald Trump
After the first reports that some soldiers had been hurt, Trump said the U.S. "suffered no casualties" from the attack which was a retaliation for the US drone strike assassination of Iran's Qassem Suleimani.
But after reports of brain injuries circulated, Trump referred to them as headaches and said the cases were not as serious as injuries involving the loss of limbs.
He said: "I heard that they had headaches. And a couple of other things.
"But I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.”
The one American sent to Kuwait has since returned to duty.
All 16 of those who were diagnosed with TBI and remained in Iraq have since returned to duty, Hoffman said.
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The strike was launched in retaliation for the U.S. drone missile strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, the most powerful military general in Iran on January 3, prompting fears of World War 3.
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